Sunday, September 4, 2011

Do We Forgive Our Fathers?

For GBE 16 Parent or Child this week, I'm sharing not an original poem, but one that has multiple meanings for me.  It is a poem written by Dick Lourie, and was also featured in the closing scene of the movie "Smoke Signals."  If you've never seen the movie I highly recommend it. 

I have yet to forgive my father.

How do we forgive our Fathers?
Maybe in a dream
Do we forgive our Fathers for leaving us too often or forever
when we were little?
Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage
or making us nervous
because there never seemed to be any rage there at all.
Do we forgive our Fathers for marrying or not marrying our Mothers?
For Divorcing or not divorcing our Mothers?
And shall we forgive them for their excesses of warmth or coldness?
Shall we forgive them for pushing or leaning
for shutting doors
for speaking through walls
or never speaking
or never being silent?
Do we forgive our Fathers in our age or in theirs
or their deaths
saying it to them or not saying it?
If we forgive our Fathers what is left?


  1. I have seen this movie. It's a great movie. I love the poem you posted.

  2. you don't have to forgive him - he doesn't deserve it. Forgive yourself for thinking you have to forgive him. I can't put this well right now - but some ppeople should not be forgiven. Maybe you are too hard on yourself. I'll get back to this

  3. beautiful blog. Spoke to me. Thank you for sharing

  4. I think only you will know IF and when the time will come to forgive your father--it may be sooner or later or possibly never. I just know--if you do forgive him--it won't be for him--it will be for you and you'll be the one to make that call.

    In the meantime (((Steven)))

    Cheers, Jenn.

  5. You will know when you are ready for forgiveness. Sometimes, there is no forgiveness left for some people. Sometimes you reach a level of forgiveness so you can let go and go on with your life unhindered. Even though there may be a level of forgiveness, you will never forget.

    Loved the poem and the movie!


  6. ((((((((((Steven)))))))))) love you buddy just listen to your heart it won't lie to you.
    Blessings n' hugs

  7. Forgiveness is seldom for the sinner, but rather for the forgiver. Your heart will be free when you accept that all humans are flawed and our job is not to dwell on the sins, but to dwell on being a better person than the one for whom we give the forgiveness. I am learning a bit about you from your writings and I know that you need to forgive to move away from the pain, not to forget, because you have learned far too much from that pain to ever repeat it or allow it in your heart ever again.

  8. If I'm reading it right, one point of the poem is that a Father can't catch a break. Whatever way he goes may cause some offense that will one day put him under judgement and possibly leave him only waiting for the forgiveness court to decide his fate.

    The larger truth is that we all offend God's perfect standard, and delight in finding that He is willing to forgive us!

    As far as our choosing to forgive, I like this idea: Withholding forgiveness from someone is like drinking poison and expecting it to kill him!

  9. Steven, I love reading your posts. The raw honesty is penetrating. I can see why that poem speaks to you. It's a tough call but I have no doubt you'll figure it out.

  10. forgiving someone does not forgive the action. I took me many many years to realize this and unfortunately I have not been able to "forgive" my father while he was alive and tell him so.( even though I'm not sure he would realize or admit he had anything to be forgiven for)I did let my ex husband know I forgave him and I still loved him but it's was his impending death that made it so.We have our whole life to learn the lessons, and we are also doomed to repeat them over and over only in another form and another person. There are only two truths, Love & fear, all else comes from those..I choose love.... I choose love.... I choose you..xoxoxo

  11. I hope that the day comes when you can forgive him. Not for him, but for yourself.